Los Baños Curfew imposed
Los Baños Curfew imposed : Legal or illegal?
Los Baños, Laguna - Mayor Anthony Genuino justified the necessity of imposing curfew and alcohol ban to protect the security and welfare of students in the university town(GMA news).
Here are the series of statements of Mayor Genuino as quoted from GMA news Online article.
1. "Just like any other ordinance which is permanent in nature, we will implement it unless repealed or amended through enactment of the Sangguniang Bayan."
2. "The passage of an ordinance imposing municipal-wide curfew hours will protect our children from impending harm and danger during night time."
3. "We cannot depend solely on these authorities in ensuring public safety. Anti-crime efforts
should involve residents, businesses, academe, and other sectors."
4. "Majority of the resto-bars are in the thickly populated barangay of Batong Malake, where the
University of the Philippines is also located. Regulating their business is within the powers of the
municipality, considering the greater good which is the security and welfare of the students."
Municipal Ordinance No. 2012-1120, also known as the Anti-Loitering Ordinance, imposed a municipal-
wide curfew on all Los Baños residents.
Under the law, minors are barred in public places, from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m, while adults are
prohibited from 12 midnight to 4 a.m.
Mayor Anthony Genuino has clear and good intentions of making the area safe and free from crimes. However, there are some things that I think the mayor has overlooked. Los Baños is a small community if we have to remove IRRI, UPLB, Forestry area, etc. Every week tourists and student field trips coming from various parts of Luzon increases the number of people that the local government needs to protect.
Now, let's talk about the bonafide/registered/unregistered UPLB students. (When I say unregistered students, these are UPLB students who stopped schooling but still living in the area though they came from different provinces). During my time when I was in Los Baños, for some reasons I was not really able to stay at home all night. I really had to go outside the campus because I had to buy my food. Remember when your brain is tediously in use your stomach easily gets empty. I had to study from 7PM until 4am-5am. When my food boxes were emptied I really had to go out.
Second, research via internet. UPLB has a huge University library plus dozens of college libraries but there are some references that were still not available from those libraries. So, I had to do a research via private internet services which I think until now are mostly located in UPLB grove (grove is what we call the spot from the UPLB main gate going to the next 5-7 major blocks). Internet research may take hours and sad thing when you are already at home you might have to get another resource online, thus you have to go out again.
For other students, sponsored community works that a student organization had to make caused them to spend extended hours outside of their homes. For fraternities and sororities--not all fraternity organizations in UPLB are bad and I would say even the ones who were engaged in University Frat wars--these fratmen are still doing community works. Majority of them has to source funds from their own sweat. They have to collect unused clothes, sort those out one by one during night time, calculate the price tag, etc. Doing it is just like having your own personal business of used clothing which we typically call UKAY-UKAY. Planning the main event would take hours too!
Am I against the curfew hours? No, I'm not and it's a legal prevention against crimes. BUT what I would like the local authorities to do is to put exemptions. Do not drag these students to precincts if they will be caught during the specified time. Do a little interrogation, accompany them to their homes and nothing more than that. I am not defending all UPLB students because I know there are so many students in UPLB who no longer have competitive IQs compared to those students who graduated before year 2000. But still, I don't like the local police to bring these students to police stations simply because they were caught in times that they have to make an online research or a group study in prepration for their examinations.
And what about those students who travel from Manila to Los Baños on a regular basis? Obviously they have to be exempted right? When I was in college, more than 60% of my dormmates went home during weekends.
Is it really difficult to guard the community? I guess NO. Not all police outposts in Los Baños have police in it-they are either asleep in their quarters or could be somewhere else. I am not the only one who has this sentiment. My dormmates before told me that it looks like the visibility of local police is not seen in dangerous areas in Los Baños and I don't know the reason why.
Again, continue that curfew to make sure that these people who are being paid by the taxpayers have jobs to keep themselves busy with. But again, put exemptions.